First, choose a section of the forest that speaks to you.
Conveniently located close to our welcome area, Sunrise Trail provides a natural opening to the forest. Enter via a gentle, sloping trail that delivers stunning eastern sunrises to reward early birds and invites you into an enveloping forest canopy. The trail also offers partial views of the neighboring Santa Cruz mountainside.
Sunlight streams through the leaves and, in springtime, illuminates the variety of wildflowers that pepper the forest floor. Birdsong can be heard early in the day and, for the very fortunate, great horned owls have even been heard hooting their calls to each other in the evenings.
Peaceful and quiet throughout, the northernmost parts of this section provide a sense of seclusion and immersion that’s perfect for those looking for true privacy in the forest.
Situated in the heart of the forest, and set below the ridge, this section delivers a natural amphitheater of majestic spring-fed redwoods, madrones, and tanoaks.
Nestled at the center of Reflection Grove, a peaceful pond offers a cooling forest oasis on hot summer days and a natural spot to pause and reflect all year round. This serene retreat is especially beautiful in the evening as the sun sets through the canopy, warmly illuminating the pond and the larger surrounding trees.
The pond and a seasonal stream sustain a variety of life in this section, including newts and banana slugs, while tree frogs can be heard singing in the evening. Mountain lions and deer have also been spotted paying visits to Reflection Grove.
Those who venture further northwest will be rewarded with the best “deep in the forest” feeling in the whole forest, peacefully immersed in a seemingly remote area, despite being just a short and accessible walk from our welcome area.
With mountainside views, and a neighboring sunny meadow, Reflection Grove offers the perfect spot for visitors to relax and enjoy natural beauty.
This ridge delivers partial mountaintop views that can be seen from the main pathway, while hiking trails take you higher into the forest, giving you the distinct feeling of being elevated above the rest of the forest — perfect for those seeking a private moment of peace.
Madrone Ridge sits above Soquel Creek, a 16+ mile long creek that flows down to Monterey Bay, with numerous tributaries feeding into it. Through our commitment to forest protection, we are contributing to the health of the riparian ecosystem it provides. Riparian vegetation provides temperature regulation, shade, and bank stabilization.
Filled with spectacular trees, this is where you’ll find some of the best madrone specimens available, as well as an extremely limited number of evergreen Coast Live Oaks. Afternoon lighting is spectacular year-round while, in the winter, a dense fog sits on the ridge, creating the serene sense of walking in the clouds.
Giving the peaceful feeling of being deep in the forest, this section is ideal for those seeking picturesque privacy.